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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  October 23, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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>> rose: funding for charlie rose was provided by the following. additional funding provided by these funders.
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and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. . it is time to do some nation building right here at home. > captioning sponsored by rose communications >> tonight a special edition of charlie rose. >> rose: welcome to our program. we are live this evening from new york. florida and washington dc, president obama and governor romney faced each other in the third and final debate. many saw this as the defining moment for each of the candidate before americans make their decision on election day november 6th, next two weeks will be devoted to mobilizing voters in key battleground states, ohio in particular shaping up to be an election decider, although as cbs news poll this morning showed the president maintains an advantage there, governor romney is gaining, tonight in boca raton,
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florida the focus was on foreign policy, both candidate also pressed on their domestic policy talking points. >> governor romney i am glad that you recognize that al qaeda is a threat, because a few month ago when asked was is the biggest geo political face facing america you said russia. >> russia indicated is a geo political foe. >> excuse me, as the geo political foe and i said in the same paragraph i said and iran is the greatest national security threat we face. russia does continue to battle us in the u.n. time and time again, i have clear eyes on, this i am not going to wear rose colored glasses when it wears to russia and mr. but putin and not say to himly give you more flexibility after the election. >> one of the challenges over the last decade as we have done experiments in nation building in places like iraq and afghanistan and neglected for example developing our own economy, our own energy sectors, our own education system. >> sportsdesk to be able to fulfill our role in the world, america must be strong.
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america must lead. and for that to happen, we have to strengthen our exhibit here at home. >> he doesn't have different ideas and that is because we are doing exactly what we should be doing. >> come on our web site and look at how we get to a balanced budget within eight to ten years, we do it by getting, by reducing spending and a whole series of programs. >> it just doesn't work and we visited the web site quite a bit and it still doesn't work. >> rose: let me get back to foreign policy. can i just get back? >> we have to strengthen our military long-term we don't know what the world is going to throw at us down the road. we make decisions today in the military that will confront challenges we can't imagine. >> i think governor romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. you mentioned the may i have, for example. and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. well, governor we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. >> from the very beginning the president campaigned some four years ago and said he would meet
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with all of the world's boston actors and sit down with chavez and kim jung il, with castro and with president ahmadinejad of iran. >> nothing governor romney just said is true. starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that has been told during the course of this campaign. >> joining me in new york is tina brown, editor in chief of news week and the daily beast. from boca raton, mark halperin of time magazine and john heilemann of new york magazine. chuck todd of nbc news, from washington albert hunt, executive editor of bloomberg news joining us shortly gwen ifill of pbs and raddatz of nbc and john dickerson of, and slight magazine i am pleased to have each of them here this evening for this important debate and as always i begin with al hunt in washington. al. >> carlie, i think mitt romney went into this debate and the calculation was all he had to do was hold his own, he would win
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a draw and just show he could be commander in chief. in many ways it was very similar to the strategy barack obama had ironically in denver and in both cases i believe it misfired. almost from the beginning romney was on his heels and as the debate shaped up he ended up agreeing with barack obama's policies on just a stunning number of issues on bin laden, on drones, on pakistan, on getting out of afghanistan, in 2014, iranian sanctions, syria defending israel, even to some extent on libya. so i don't think this debate changes the dynamics a great deal, people aren't going to vote on foreign policy, but i think if governor romney hoped to build a little momentum which he appears to have had with tonight and in florida he certainly did not achieve that and i think we are ready for a turbulent 14 days but tonight goes to obama. >> rose: mark halperin. >> i think the president won on points. he demonstrated and brandished
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his experience as commander in chief, he was aggressive, all night he had more quips and one liners as a manner of theatrics will be played on tv, i disagree with al in the following way, governor romney executed a strategy, the idea his advisors came up with when he agreed with the president he should agree, if this debate affects the race and i don't think it will, but if it does, i think governor romney completed the trifecta in all three deablghts as a matter of similar bioticks he stood to the president toe photo and did fine .. he he looked to him to be a steady and the reassuring commander in chief, he did it, i think he lost on points and simply won by sitting with the president but overall i don't really think it is going to affect the race very much. >> rose: john heilemann? >> carlie, i think the most amazing thing about the debate and about this debate tonight is the number of times with governor romney invoked the word tumult, i think he thinks it is a yiddish word and playing for the jewish vote down in florida.
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(laughter.) >> i think, i agree with both of my colleagues but a little more in al hunt's camp on the degree to which president obama dominated the debate, i think governor romney, i thought a lot of his answers to be frankly a little bit incoherent on the substance and i thought he not only agreed with president obama i think the truth is there is not that much difference between them on policy and to exaggerate the differences would be a foolish strategy at the same time there has been a strong, a striking tonal difference between the two of them where for rom at this has been more aggressive and more bellicose on some things in the past, i thought president did a really good job in holding his feet to the fire on a couple of questions, on a couple of responses where he went back and really pointed out things that governor romney was at variance in his position tonight with where he had been in the past on certain things,, you know, trying to pin governor romney down on the positions he has taken in the republican primaries and prior to the last couple of month, not letting him do what the president obama is
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etch-a-sketching toward the center has been a confusing challenge for president obama and i thought he did it tonight, he tried to do it last week in hofstra and did it there too, but here he dided did it in a steadier more commanding way without the hyperactivity we saw at hofstra, the strength that he gives off as commander in chief i mean people forget barack obama really feels comfortable on foreign policy and you think back to 2008 debate where he took on john mccain a stronger opponent on foreign policy and won that debate decisively and i think he won this one font more decisively over an opponent who doesn't have as much foreign policy experience or credibility as swoon mccain had. >> rose: martha raddatz. >> good evening, charlie. >> rose: great to have you with us. >> it is great to be here, charlie. i am not going to say there is any clear winner this debate but i think what was clear is that mitt romney was trying to appeal to women. what happened to peace through strength, peace through strength? we want to talk about war tonight, we wanted to talk
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about peace. what did he say our purpose is to make sure the world is peaceful, we can't kill our way out of this mess. so in ways i didn't recognize mitt romney tonight but i do think he appealed probably to female voters and that clearly is what he wanted to do. >> rose: chuck todd. >> well, look, i was not surprised by the aggressiveness of president obama and i wasn't surprised about the mitt romney strategy of trying to sort of play prevent, defense if you will if we didn't know any polls i think the average person would look at this capability and say, oh, president obama is acting like the guy who is a little bit behind and mitt romney is acting like the guy a little bit ahead, i was surprised at how make at times mitt romney was, he chose not to engage the president hardly at all, i mean a couple of times he tried to do, he did the apology tour hit and got a little bit back and forth there, but it was almost was he too passive? was he too, i think al
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put it, it was very similar to obama from the first debate, if you will, and i thought, you know, you want to look at this from a battle ground state termsable i thought the most interesting exchange to me that sort of tells you where mitt romney, how mitt romney is doing in the state of hydro was the auto bailout back and forth so the president brings it up and mitt romney decides he has to respond on the auto deal, let me answer a bunch of things and i will pick the auto bailout, a question remember about china. >> rose: right. >> let me take the auto bailout question. well, i tell you that to mesa tell that, a, that what is standing in the way of mitt romney and carrying the state of high owe is this perception on where he was on the auto bailout, i thought his answer was probably more confusing today as it has been before when he tried to explain, well actually president obama started the auto bailout and then, you know,, i wasn't for that, i was for in managed -- and he was all over the map but it was one of these interesting tells to me that says, okay, he is really worried about the northern part there, the lake part of ohio if
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you will, where the auto worker are, they feel good about coal country in romney land, they feel less good about where things stand in and around toledo goo. >> and that is an important tell. >> rose: okay. back to all of you, tina brown is with me here in new york. >> well, absolutely the chuck, to chuck's point about the ohio piece of it, the tell there as well is when he said the second half of that paragraph, he said, you know, because he has been memorizing that, he really has, i thought that obviously obama was tough, pragmatic, very sort of presidential in the way he kept drilling without any posturing which i like very, very much but i don't think that romney was sort of weak and passive i think he was brilliant the way he turned into little echo everything obama said basically on different foreign policies, his goal really was to just look, look presidential as if he knew the world that's really all he has to do in his stance because so much of it is visual and i think he did pull that off, i think when you saw
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the two of them side by side romney looked like a man who was accomplished and knew the world, it is all sort, soror of pabulum and generalities and quite con convincing convincing and that's all he a had to do,. >> rose: and that is mark halperin's piece, john dickerson, what did you think? >> i think governor romney went at the president with a butter knife, it was not -- and sometimes he didn't even lift the cutlery and it was an attempt to basically, if this campaign is a choice that old line, as the choice and not an echo, well this is a choice election in which romney was an echo of the president, i mean, on syria, on afghanistan, on iran, on the question of mubarek and whether he needed to go, basically on israel, he was with the president, he was not in this game, he basically let libya go past and i in i the calculation of course was that this is going to be an election about the economy, she being hired on the question of the economy, he needed to, and the question then is, what bar does
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he need to clear for that secondary attribute? did he look sufficiently like a command her chief in this debate to get that, to have that not be an obstacle so people can hire him on the economic question and cbs instant poll of undecides afterward the obama was a clear winner, with unpivot lee to 23 but on the question of competence, mitt romney did not do himself a whole lot of good 46 percent thought he could handle the job before the debate and 49 percent afterwards, it was not a huge growth there, the growth was greater for the president, the question is whether the 49 percent is sufficient when they are going to be hiring him on another set of attributes. >> rose: okay. do we take are this that omni believes he has momentum and he is on his way to winning this thing the way he acted tonight? anybody? >> yeah, i think he felt he couldn't lose it, i mean he would be much safer by doing the rope a dope way of going about it, to put the gloves up but no
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go after obama involved in a fight, i think it was one place where obama really did land a punch and that was when he talked about the difference between them as candidates when he had gone to israel and i thought he did that very, very well when he went too the holocaust museum where romney went with his delegates i thought that really communicated and really landed. >> rose: chuck, back to this, with the question of romney and what he intended to do. he did talk about sort of in a broadway how over the four years things have not gotten better for the united states, the reputation in the world, iran has been gaining more centrifuges and more possibilities in terms of their nuclear capacity. over a series of things he wants to make the same argument he makes in the economy, that four years later, we are not better off. >> right but then he agrees with the policy that was taken out for instance with syria, agrees with the same policy whe when it comes to more sanctions on iran, freeze with the same policy on
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afghanistan, so it is this -- look, i think -- i,martha's point when she said boy it seems like he was -- that the romney strategy here was about women, in particular, an making sure that he wasn't spooking suburban women with this idea that there is going to be more military conflict under our republican and there is somehow going to be a return to that so i think somehow there was some strategy ry if you will to borrow a word from previous administrations. >> (laughter.) >> i want to ga back to the tell, you do feel like the romney folks, but there was also something about the romney tonight, it felt like, i felt like he read the world book, like world book facts, he kept dropping, dribbling in the facts about everything. >> rose: right, right, right. >> almost to say too much so, it came across my colleagues called it a book report at times and it did, it did feel that way. >> martha. >> . the he was all over the
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map, especially, especially in the beginning, quite literally when he started to talk about nolly, wait a minute where is he going with this. (laughter.) >> especially after the first question and then he didn't sees on liberty yavment i thought one point where they were in disagreement and they talked about the status of forces agreement in iraq, and whether romney wanted to keep more troops in iraq and wanted more troops in iraq, governor romney talked about president obama wanting the status of forces agreement. he is right. they did want a status of forces agreement. they did want troops to remain there. the only reason they all left is because they couldn't get that status forces agreement. now i don't think voters all over america are saying, wait, wait, what about that status forces agreement? >> i thought it was so dense at times and it was that book report at times and i think people were probably happy when they turned to the economy and started talking about that. we are go not going hear anymore about foreign policy in this campaign. >> rose: all right. gwen -- >> charlie. >> rose: yes, al and back to
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gwen. >> what is interesting is that both of these guys realize this and they both tried to segue every chance they got to the in i. >> rose: eight. >> and i thought in many instances rom think, romney was pretty effective until they got to the auto bailout and that was the one area where i think he really showed again an achilles' heel. >> >> vulnerable. >> and i don't think that helped him i think it actually hurt him a little bit in ohio. >> i think obama was pretty smart to keep on insisting, we have to donation building at home i think that is very popular, you know, statement, which is to say it is all very well to talk about all of the education and the stuff we are going to do overseas but what about at home. >> rose: made that quite early. tom friedman constantly writes about that too. gwen ifill were you surprised there was not more on benghazi? >> hi, charlie, not that surprised because it feels hike if they had a run out of steam on that one at the last debate, you will hoyt that after that discussion that played itself
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outlast time mitt romney basically stopped talking about it on the stump, he was talking about doubling down on denial the day before and after the debate he seemed to go in a different direction as if they both agreed they will leave that alone for now but it is interesting martha mentioned moll i was interested to see as well here is what they didn't mention, they didn't mention mexico and the drug crisis there, the drug wars going on and the euro crisis or anything going on in europe, they didn't mention india where probably a lot of, a lot more american jobs are being outsourced there than many other places and mentioned no sub saharan country in africa and didn't mention korea, north korea has a program and sanction that ised are up in the air storks much time was spent on israel, secondarily, some time spent on afghanistan and so much time talking about nation building at home that the pivot almost obscured the rest of the debate for long, long stretches, it was remarkable in that way. i know you can't talk about everything and every debate, but some of the things that didn't get talk about were kind of noticeable.
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>> rose: what did you think -- >> can i echo that? >> quickly. >> i think particularly mexico and europe, because these are domestic issues, these are affecting the -- europe is affecting our economy like nobody's business, and mexico if you live in the state of arizona in the state of texas you are living in drug war and what should america's role be in this drug war? and not a peep. very disappointing. no talking box talking about europe -- >> rose: but it is if you say it affects the u.s. economy and the economic recovery. or lanes the u.s. economy if they can't get it right. there was also the moment in which the president, romney kept saying look you can attack he but that is not a proposal for the future. did that score? what was the best line that ronald any had during the evening? anybody? >> the -- you can't attack me was clearly his go to line. >> rose: right. >> -- if the president attacked, other than that, i can't think
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of any real standout lines that governor romney had. i don't think he wanted the zingers, i think he stayed away from that, he was just playing it very safe. obviously, president obama had a few good zingers, the one about the bayonets and horses when they started talking about nuclear sub reenls that was probably one of the lines of the night. >> rose: gwen, go ahead. >> a load of good lines. >> the point that i think there that governor rom think wants to make over and over is that the world is in greater tumult is the word he kept using than it was when, four years ago, we are closer to a nuclear bomb in iran, al qaeda is back, in fact one of the jesting things about the night is how mild he was the these kind of faults more in sadness than ape anger but if you checked your e e-mail the tweets the campaign was sending out, much harsher, much duffner
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tone that the governor himself was on the stage and i am sure that was by design. >> rose: one second. i will come right back. >> i thought mitt romney sounded naive in this tumult schtick he kept doing when he said the middle east is in flames and all of this extremism, and nothing has been done about it, it is like well what is the president of the united states really supposed to do about all of the extremists? >> rose:. >> it is ridiculous. >> charlie -- >> rose: yes, al. >> charlie i will just say when talking about effective line going to martha's point, the reason that the bayonets and horses line was good, not only a nice line but had some substance to itable when romney says one of the areas he tried to differentiate himself was on defense spending, smallest navy since 1916 that is true but in 1916 of course we didn't have nimitz class nuclear aircraft carrier that can reach targets 1,000 miles away, so i think that is more relevant so i think that is why the line worked.
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look, wrong this, i don't think this debate changes the basic dynamics but mitt romney did do a dope a rope and in denver i thought that barack obama did a rope a dope, what they both ignored in the history of rope a dope is, muhammad ali pummelled the heck out of somebody for eight round before he started rope a doping, these guys did not. >> rose: okay. let me go to chuck todd, did you see this coming in anyway? >> >> well, i think it is clear that -- yes, this was clearly going to be the romney strategy and we should give -- romney's best zinger if we will give him one, we know what the obama zinger, is bay hets, it is the putin line when it looked like he was ready to go at putin when he said, you know, you wanted more flexibility and i think the line was he will get more flexibility, putin will get more backbone but the romney absolutely believe they think if they are ahead or not ahead, they think they are going to be ahead, right? and -- but i tell you if they wanted the commander
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in chief bar well they cleared the bar but they did it barely, you know, they could have tried to clear it by a lot, which i think candidate obama tried to do against john mccain four years ago, mitt romney hose to barely clear it. >> rose: how would they have done it better, chuck? >> oh, i think it would have been a little bibit clearer tryg to understand, you know, the basics of when would a mitt romney or romney administration use force? we really don't have the answer to that question. we still don't have the answer to that question. what is -- i thought it was for the first time we did hear, because i have asked romney this question about mubarek and by the way the number rec decision is one of the most consequential decision this is president made and it is going to be a historically a consequential decision, especially if a united states president is ever faced with this in a saudi arabia, frifns, an, for instance, and for the first time when romney hugged him on that i went, wow, because rom at this has come this close to saying i wouldn't have done that, he threw our ally under the bus, right? that
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has been a talking point of romney and boy not only did he backtrack from that he said you know i would have done the same thing as the president and that one floored me. >> so, charlie, one thing about the horses and bayonets line i think al is exactly right, there was substance to the barb, but you know we should just bring in the other, we were talking about ohio let's talk about virginia and the number one recipient of federal money for defense spending, the southeastern portion of the state a lot of ship building going on there, 45 percent of the hampton roads area of the economy comes from defense spending, so romney may have lost it on the policy there, but he may have the politics right in terms of his defense pending. i would also adjust circle back to an issue of women, the number of times that they both talked about rights for women in the middle east they kept coming back to that and then there was clearly an effort to go for women when they went into that
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-- that cul-de-sac on domestic policy where they spent quite a bit of time, the number of times that mitt romney talked about bipartisan solutions and then bipartisan solution in massachusetts on education, that was sort of a three-for on the pandering to women front so there was a lot of domestic. (laughter.) >> there was a lot of domestic politics embedded into what was supposed to be a foreign policy debeant. (laughter.) >> mark and john, how were the romney people spinning this after the debate? >> >> they executed their plan, some of our colleagues disagree with the lan but they executed the plan they wanted to, both candidates were trying to do what they always try to do, appeal to both the basis base and swing voters if you look at the reaction of the republican base, romney wasn't fluster and stood up, he pick his spots where he would stand up to the president and disagree, i don't think there is any disappointment on their part he freed with the president a lot and in terms of swing voters as
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i said at the beginning, the goal was to be reassuring, to show that he could be a commander in chief. an in the trifecta of all three debate, i don't think governor romney had great moments where people said, oh, no this guy is unacceptable. i thought he started surprisingly nervous and i thought. >ter a few answers he found his footing. if this were council on foreign reg council on foreign relations, up or down american idol poll he would be polled, his own foreign policy statements are about as weak and inconsistent and unrigorous as any i have covered in a presidential campaign. i am not sure that that matters in the 90 minutes or in the context of what this election is about as much as tina and i have said on the symbiotics of standing on the stage and looking presidential and playing the part and the president coming hard at him and not backing down. >> there is one other thing on the question of reassurance, just to try to put a fine of a point on this as possible. you know, governor romney basically all night tonight said one
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thing, the overarching theme of the entire debate from his point of view was i would basically have the same policies as barack obama, i just would execute them better. and that goes to one very specific thing which the president obama is the advertising on right now which is, which is the end of the wars. you know we have a country that is a very war wary country and that is not just women but everybody across-the-board and one of the dankers governor romney had in the past because he has been surrounded by some number of neoconservative foreign policy advisor because he made relatively harsh and bellicose statements, chuck talked about the number rec thing an other places where he seemed to be more interventionist and neoconist and steered clear of that by saying i am with the president on the substance of the policy i just would be a better ex-cure of it, i would be a better manager of it the, he managed to maim hick, make himself not seem like a war monk tore put it bluntly and there the standpoint of seeming like a safe .. pair of hand and doing the kind of
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reassuring like mark is talking about, not looking like a plausible commander in chief but one that won't plunge scbiews a bunch of foreign adventures and new military entanglements that would scare off a lot of american voters if it seemed he was a risky choice in that regard. >> i am sure john bolton wanted jump out of the window when he watched this debate, but i think you are right, romney, he came off as wildly forceful. >> rose: you agree with that, martha? >> charlie, the one thing i would say about all of this talk about war, absolutely they wanted to talk about peace, president obama talked about veteran coming home, but if you want to talk about a commander in chief, the country is still at war, we will still have thousand and thousand of troops in afghanistan for the next couple of years, nobody wants to talk about war, but the fact is, we are still at war. >> rose: so what would be the indictment of obama foreign policy that romney did not make, martha? >> i don't think he really made
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any indictment of obama's foreign policy. >> rose: i know. but if he wanted to go down that road, what would he have said? >> well, i think what he would have said is if he would talk about solutions, what are you going to do different? what are you going to do to make things better? pakistan, what are you going to do to make things better in pakistan? what are you going to do to make the a kwan any network to stop coming over the borders into afghanistan and killing our troops, those are the .. answers i wanted, i wanted to know about the drone policy, president obama didn't really talk about the drones at all, they never really say drones but you should really ask questions about whether you should be able to kill people without a judicial process, the american public should be able to debate that and i would have talked about that if i were mitt romney to president obama. >> rose: john dickerson -- okay, gwen first. >> okay, two completely different debates, however, that was a debate that -- that was a two for one policy debate that martha is laying out there, which you actually would have taken, in fact bob schieffer
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asked mitt romney asked the president about drones but not the president, assuming everybody thought it was a good idea, but that is what this debate was, it was a 47, 47, 48, 49, whatever poll you are looking at backdrop. >> rose: these guys. >> >> right. >> one of these guys wanted to keep it going the way it has been going an that is mitt romney which is to say with the wind at his back and the other guy pretty wanted to staunch any damage and extend a signal to those folks out there who are his supporters to rev them up an get them excited. there were a couple of moment there is i kind of drift away and think to myself, if this same behavior had occurred at the first debate that is to say the president had come out of the box punching and governor romney had laid-back and said i agree with you, how different this campaign would be today, we do not think it would look the same way it does tonight. >> rose: but suppose romney had a very good debate the second debate and then, you know, had played it equally strong tonight? would he be in a better place than he is? >> we are going down that
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hypothetical, governor romney talked about, i think it is possible, that is how close the race is, it could have been very different. >> rose: i have this for all of you, you used the expression, gwen, romney has the wind at his back, is that where this race is that romney has the wind at his back? that the momentum is with him? because we know that in races like that, where you are running against an incumbent, if you are the challenger, and undecides generally break if it is this close to the challenger, john? >> well, i think he does have the wind at his back, the question is how strong it is or whether that wind is going to the taper off and then we are in a period of sort of stillness, i mean, i the i that this was, a good debate for the president, he asserted his command of the issues, he looked commanding, remember how bad his leadership numbers were coming out of that first debate. they just didn't think he was a leader and that number has kind of stuck with him in some of the polls, so he tightens things up for him receive and romney doesn't slip back so i think,
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you know, it is quite tight and one of the jesting things of this debate, of course, between the polls, every other poll than the gallup poll has it basically tied up, there a lot in the romney camp who think we should pay a lot of attention to the goll up there poll, romney behaved as if he believes in that gallup poll he is up by seven and won't do anything risky to alienate people and scare them, so i think that is -- that is, you know, where i think it still kind of things are leaning in his direction. >> rose: but does playing it safe win elections? >> well he won't play it safe on the economy which is the thing people care about so he plays it safe here so he is not objectionable, and, you know, his opening line, we can't kill our way out of this mess. and then just a constantly returning to a kind of a soft power. when you asked earlier about the i didn't critique he could have made of president obama, if you look looked back at the cairo speech, obama's speech to the muslim world, romney talk about in terms of the apology tour, well, if you look at what rahm
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emanuel said about that speech, he said it was the greatest historic speech in 20 year but it totally reset relations with the middle east and led into a period of peace, well it didn't turn out that way at all so the critique could have been, that you are sort of rosie view of the middle east based on pretty words and not being george bush but not going to fix things and that leads you then perhaps to a libya critique but he didn't want to make that critique but wanted to talk about app politician and move on because the ultimate conclusion of such a line of argument is for the president to then turn and say okay well you wanton stronger so are you talking about war? and that was the line that biden used so often against paul ryan in their debate. >> a big backdrop to romney wil make of foreign policy has to be set against the huge victory that everyone in america knows which is that he did take out osama bin laden, and i think that is where romney -- obama so completely reversed the relationship to the intelligence. >> rose: romney congratulated him on that very early on in the
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debate. >> because he has nothing to say about that except well done. >> rose: john? heilemann. >> to come back to your question about, to come back to your question about where the race stand right now and where the momentum is, i think that john dickerson may have overstated where the romney campaign feels things are just a little bit in the sense that i don't think they think they are ahead by seven points but i do think they think that they looked at the nbc wall street journal number an saw the race tied at 47, and they looked at that number and said, you know, 47 is a bad number for an incumbent at this point and they feel like they are making progress across the battle ground states, and although that proog is not enormous in the battle ground sates, it is a measure it is measurable and i can't point to right now a state where president obama's position is improving, he is holding governor romney off right now, but the obama campaign is playing defense right now, they have structural advantages and have democrat photographic advantages, they have ground game advantages in some some of
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these states it may be must have to hold off the momentum that governor romney has in those states and i would still make him a narrow favorite to win, president obama that is, but they are playing defense now, there is like i say not a state anybody can name where president obama is on the march, and so governor romney does feel like he has got the wind at his back and that there is nothing, and i think he will come out of this debate feeling whatever the instant polls and whatever the pundits and foreign experts say there is nothing that happened in the battleground states, nothing that happened tonight that will stop them from making the incremental gains they have been making over the course of the last month in those states. >> charlie, if you look at the totality -- >> rose: one second. >> reporting with both campaigns, with independents, analysts, people who worked on other campaigns not directly align with the presidential campaign you would say most of the data and most of the touch and feel, most of our spider sense says rom my is moving and that he may be in a position to win the bulk of the battle brown states, the president has three things he can hook at to say,
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things are not that dire. one is, he has got a floor, and in most of these states, his floor is pretty high, and his national number is pretty high he doesn't have very much he is not collapsed and them ranking people, number 2, he has got a superior ground game and they are very confident that a lot of these states, even in the state we are in now, florida they are going to get additional points on banking early votes, banking absentee ballots and turning people out on election day, in a lot of the polls, and the polls can tell you different things but in a lot of the battle ground state polls the president still has a small but they say stable lead and those knee things together are not nothing, but they are fighting the current of most of the other data all of russ getting. >> rose: okay, but -- >> charlie can i. >> rose: al. >> i want to jump in and ask john and mark a question, when i look at that data from battleground states i don't quite free i think new hampshire, iowa, nevada, the president all looks in pretty good shape compared to governor romney, i do think ohio is the
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ball game, i was out there last week, i think democrats were slightly more optimistic, i think the key, and mark touched on it i want to ask john and mark this because they do a lot more reporting than i do on this, i think the key is whether the infrastructure, the ground game, everything the obama people really have put in place really does give him a little bit of an advantage, some republicans say nonsense, that no way, it is different this time, the obama people say, no we are light years ahead of where we were, i think that in a place like high owe is going to be the ball game and i wonder what mark and john think about that. >> rose: and then i want to go to gwen and john dickerson, go ahead. >> >> the it is ball became, it is the enthusiasm gap is not wide because the mechanics on the the democratic side are clearly superior i think they built the biggest thing, the biggest thing that has ever been built if. >here is an enthusiasm gap if the low propensity voters that young people, hispanic voters, african-american voters, single years ahead of where we were, i
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think a place like high owe is going to be the ball game and what do mark and john think about. >> rose: and then i want to go to gwen and john dickerson. >> it is the ball became, it is the enthusiasm gapped is not wide because the mechanics is superior for the democrats, i think by every method the biggest thing that ever has been built live is an enthusiasm gap the low propensity voters that make up a huge portion of the electorate the president needs to turn out, young people, hispanic and african-american voters, single women, if their enthusiasm is down so, down so low the it doesn't turn them out in efficient numbers the mechanics don't matter, if the gap is lower and that's why appealing to the base is so important, then i think governor romney can overwhelm with inferior logistics the president's superior forces just because his people are motivated to vote to turn out the president. >> i agree with all of that and i will just add, i will just add in particular, i think it is true in ohio which is just to say that the ground game that
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they have there is very, very strong, and it is supplemented by the fact that, and you can't say this enough times, you know, ohio is the one state in america with organized labor is actually argu organized and so on top of the obama campaign's work there, there is a labor turnout machine in ohio that can move the needle and as mark said, as long as it doesn't get swamped and not too big of a disparity in enthusiasm they feel confident about and they have a right to feel confident about and as al said, high owe is the ball game, if romney doesn't win there, it is hard to win the country. >> rose: john dickerson, the ground game? >> well, go ahead, sorry. >> no, go ahead. >> sorry i lost you there for just a second, but just in terms of the, you know, we know the democrats va the better ground game in most places, republicans of course would challenge that, because they have to have the better ground game because democrats don't turn out or as well as republicans do, guy back to the early vote ground game means a lot more when we have three weeks to vote, it is just about just making sure people get out on election at a it is make make sure they vote in the first few days they can early
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vote and if they haven't voted because you can check their names, the name on your list against the name of the secretary of state releases you check if the person has voted if not you visit their house if they don't answer the door you call them, you get them, you drag them to the polls in one fashion or another and that is where ground game really matters, we always hear a lot about ground game and then it kind of doesn't turned out sometimes to be as great as expected but now with early voting in the states, particularly in ohio, that is where it really matters and where the obama team has been intensive, now in other states like virginia, i think the republicans have a better case to make forking with able to fight parity or something close to that with the obama team. >> rose: gwen -- >> charlie. >> yes.? a. go ahead.>> rose: no, you ze. >> i am just going to say, charlie, the other part of this ground game is being able to speak to your base and get them to show up. it is not just putting them in the car and drive them to poll it is getting them to believe in you again so when you saw the president tonight part of what they were doing is speaking to their own crowds and saying this is who i can be and maybe in mitt romney's case he was speaking across the line to the other side, women who are giving him a second or third look after the first couple of debates but in
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the case of president obama, i don't know if anybody else noticed what he flat out said tonight there will be no sequester, that has been something that president -- that governor romney has talked about repeatedly on the campaign trail he talked about how the president is hurting the defense, is hurting definite, which plays out well in virginia, and he is doing it because of this se questionser the, the across-the-board budget cuts that will take effect at the end of the year and it seems as if the president has been sitting at home watching the tapes and getting angrier and angrier about that argument which is because he is of course a congressional action, not something he has sponsored, between that and the apology tour response, it seems that if the president came low loaded forebear for a couple of things he has been wishing he had a chance to fight back on, each and every time and they went to it even if that was not the question on the table. >> to john's point about the enthusiasm gap, though, that affects things i actually do think that romney managed to sort of take out the fear factor in that debate so i don't think
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that people are going to be as afraid of romney, people who might have been thinking i am going run to the polls and vote against romney may not decide to do that now because i think he did successfully lower the fear factor. you know coopting all of his positions, being mr. reasonable and mr. plausible it really wasn't a scary performance so people who are not as engrossed in politics might think well he is not really so bad, i don't have to worry about him. >> >> rose: there is also this idea, everything i have been reading says the america wants barack obama to lay out what he intend to do in the second term, that voters are disappointed, they haven't heard that. but he didn't seem to address that tonight either, and they were using this debate to go wherever they wanted to go, why doesn't he try to meet that tonight, charlie, it is just when people say they don't fine it that nourishing,. >> rose: but don't like it or what? >> yes, heard themable, he heard them, he went to manufacturing
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he did the manufacturing, he did the education, he did the infrastructure, i mean, the real case he should make, but he doesn't want to because hard choices will have to be made by whoever is in office. >> rose: right. >> we live in a time of scarcity, the government is too large, there is going to be a -- a knife is going to be used. who do you trust when that knife is being wielded? the real estate who is saying i will cut in a way that will not nick any major arteries and the middle class will be largely protected so that the my can grow? but the predicate for that argument is there is going to be a lot of pain coming and you don't want to go into an election saying hey, i am going to sock it to you, they are both ignoring the fact the context for the governing they are going to do is governing in which there is going to be hard choices and pain or those hard choices are going to be brought a to us if u believe the fiscal conditions is as dire as people say. >> rose: do i hear you saying john if you are running for high office you should say to the country, you should elect me because i am going to hurt you? >> right, yes. it is exactly mondale as you know. >> that worked so well for
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walter mondale. >> he did a fabulous job of that and no one ever said -- and of course they all boast about making hard choices, remember when paul ryan was chosen the idea was this is going to be the hard choices ticket. >> rose:. >> but no one will articulate what the hard choices are. >> rose: yes, albert. >> rose: but not pain. guarantee you you are in tumult when you are in pain. >> i will pick up on a point that mark or john made, i get confused, i can't tell which is which but one made a point about the enthusiasm gap that is terribly important if you look at that nbc wall street journal poll which i in i have as credible as any poll in the world because i created it a few years ago, if you look at registered voters obama has a five-point advantage the trick for obama is to take a few of that margin and turn them into actual voters, that's the trick and that's where infrastructure, ground game and at least a modicum of enthusiasm i think will determine the ball game.
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>> rose: mark and john, where does it go tonight? after this debateable and you both seem to say or everybody seems to say while obama may have won but romney pot what he intended to do, he played out and executed his game plan, so if it doesn't have any impact on the race as some people thought it might possibly, what has impact between now and election day? >> john? mark? >> well, look, i mean, one thing, one thing you can't forget, charlie, that no one probably does forget but if they are ever prone to, they shouldn't, is that in this homestretch, barack obama is going to be a better political performer than mitt romney, he is going to give better speeches, he is going to give more rouses speeches he is going to have better crowds, that is not governor romney won't have big crowds but i just don't believe you are going to see the kind of -- this is what his big
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event in swing states actually matter, because they are not just for television, which they are, but they are also opportunities that the obama campaign uses to mobilize voters, to continue to work their magic o on the ground and president obama is going to be in places that the last two weeks he is going to be in swing states with bill clinton, the two biggest names in american politics are going to dramas receive crowds at various places you can just predict it it is going to be true and governor romney may turn out healthy crowds but i find it hard to imagine that you are going to have the same kind of, just as purely at the level of those kind of events, at those kind of numbers of people you are going to have, i believe you are going to have a pretty decent disparity between those two, in fact, that stuff which is normally doesn't matter that much like stunt performance doesn't matter that much in the total vote totals but those that are going to be razor close that could make a big difference in my view. >> one hinges that may play a
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role here, is 1:30 second ads that breakthrough, either from the campaigns themselves, super pacs or some of the outside grounds that could make a difference, the other is long form advertising, recall the last time the president had must have to do an hour in prime time, kind of like a documentary. >> rose: right. >> i think we will see some long form stuff on cable or maybe even on broadcast that could breakthrough. you may see some endorsements, general powell, somebody dominates the news psyched. >>able that way and the real thing to decide it if they fer if they think mitt romney is a choice tonight. coherent on foreign policy, no, but as people start to make this decision do they look at him over the last two weeks as someone who closes strong and a has his voice, that is right, president obama will a better performer, he will have a more rock star feel to them but governor romneys closes in a way the way voters see him now and say you know what? i am willing to take a chance on a different guy or not.
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>> charlie, let me jump in. >> rose:. >> why mark halperin hates, i don't understand why mark halperin hates the council on foreign relations so much, but decides his anti-council bias, you know the other thing that is possible and it can't be discounted is the possibility there will be some news story that cops out in the next few weeks that has an appreciable look on the outcome, it doesn't happen that often but you have a campaign in the obama campaign that spent a lot of time doing a lot of research on governor romney, run by matt rhodes the campaign manager there who is by training an opposition researcher, i am not predicting this, i am just saying it is a possibility that one of the two campaigns still has one piece of opposition research in their bag, that they will pull out in the last two weeks and also possible that a story will just emerge organically, you can't forget that in 2000, the story about governor bush is dui actually had an effect at the end, at least if you believe karl rove it actually moved the needle significantly in terms of
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the popular vote at the end of 2000 and it is always possible a story like that will appear over the next two weeks that will take us all by surprise and actually have an effect. >> rose: john dickerson -- >> charlie, i bet -- >> rose:. >> let me go to john dickerson. >> what does romney have to do? put it in terms of if obama is going to have all of this sort of superb campaign crowds and everything else and he and former president clinton are going to be sweeping around the swing states together, what is it that governor romney has to do and is part of it simply to create the notion that he has a real chance and that momentum is with him because people want to go with a winner? >> well i think he has to do -- i think he has to basically argue the lines for his, his events are almost as long as the lines at the job fairs, i mean you have to use the weight of the events and all of these -- this, you know, the rock star obama against him, to argue that
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yes, he may turn out these huge crowds but you remember the crowds and the rhetoric and the bill clinton and the bruce springsteen at the end and you want four more years of that, that the beauty and the rhetoric of the campaign event which has been said many times, president obama is much better at that, and when he find his voice as he did with his little romney esia he couldn't have been more pleased with himself. and that is, infectious. >> rose: ha, ha, ha. >> that is a candidate that looks like he has the wind at his back and there is something to it in the sense of mojo. >> and also the secret sauce it really is. >> rose: especially if in at the warmed up by bruce springsteen. go ahead. >> and just basically, finally, you know, make the case that all of this, everybody you everything you are going to see he will argue in the final two weeks that looks liken theus yasm for obama will do nothing to improve your life and that is the way, you know, that he has to try and use that against him, because he will -- he won't be
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able to match what obama is doing in terms of just the theatrics of the final campaign. >> rose: gwen, what do you think the undecides are looking for? what question do they need answered? >> well, i am like mark, i adore the council for foreign relations, this is why. here is the thing. this is what debates do and this is how -- >> rose: tina likes it too. >> go ahead. >> is that you can take, you can take the information, debates we now have these three debates under our belts, they are fodder, what these guys said are on the record and you can use them and turn it into an ad and turn it into a live on the campaign trail and i can see romney esia making a comeback on tonight's performance, for instance and if you find a way, either one of them to use what they accumulated from knees debates the way these candidates chose to respond, the things 3 said which were not what they said before, or overstate what this they have done or would do,
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we heard governor romney on the stump this week saying isn't it a shame the president hasn't talked to you about what is going to happen in the next four years. >> rose: right. >> i think you can see all of that as fodder for the next couple, 14, 15 days, because anything they can do, which can grab the imagination of these unenthused voters and make them say, okay i will go out and vote, that request also turn this election, it is so close. >> rose: al what is the unanswered question right now in terms of where they might be, dine mitchell in action? >> fo for example is it somethig like the future, where does obama want to take us, that kind of thing? is there something else i am missing here that is playing a vital role in the conversation that will take place between now and election day? >> charlie, i think it is really rather simple, who is going to make life a little bit better for me, a little bit better than it has been over the last two or three-year, who is going to have my back, who is going to protect the middle class? and i think
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obama as done better than romney on the middle class but he certainly hasn't done well and say here is why it is going to be better for you in the next couple of years, i think the jury is still out among the signaling group of persuadables but that is what h he has to dof he wants to go in and i agree with what someone says a moment ago, john dickerson what romney has to do, no it is not going to be better unless you elect me. >> rose: has social media played a big role in this campaign? do you know? >> i think, you know, tapes have, i mean, up more, something. >> rose: the 47 percent. >> the 47 percent tape is one of those terminal movement moments that can happen in a campaignness like reverend wright came for obama last time or the bitter gate tape last time but i think these matchups and these kind of sound bites on jon stewart are the things that are the deadly boomerang thing for candidate, more than the social media piece of it. it is still the tv clips. >> rose: thank you for coming, great to have you here. tina brown from newsweek and the
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daily beast, thank you, gwen, as always. >> thank you. >> thank you, charlie. hey, charlie, michelle obama said on the campaign trail the next 15 days is going to feel long. for whom? >> rose: john dickerson, thank you for doing double duty for us from cbs to come over here, as always, thank you. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: mark, john, thank you. as always. >> thank you, charlie. thank you, charlie. >> rose: and albert, last word to you. >> we have concluded here, every night that there has been a debate we have been here live holding the fort these have certainly been and industry less than 20 seconds, memorable debates than in the past, have they not? taken as a hole? >> i agree, charlie, they have been among the most memorable ever and i thank you we have had fund fun on this and yahweh to see halperin at the council for foreign relations. >> rose: i can't wait to see what happens tomorrow, thank you all it has been a pleasure,
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thank you at home. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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